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Change at Bags By Alex

Updated: Mar 29

Why the change. As you have read, Bags By Alex has changed. We have cut a lot of products and focused on some of our best selling items and a few personal favorites that we see have a lot of potential. Reducing product range seems to be the opposite of what makes sense. Every other brand is expanding and adding products. So why?

I want Bags By Alex to be known as a brand that sells high quality bags that have many useful features. A brand that is affordable and accessible for all. A brand that supports you how you want to adventure. I want Bags By Alex to be successful and be here for you.

Since leaving my full time job in June of 2022, I have added products and expanded the product line. Throughout that process I feel the brand has gotten confused and busy. I expanded thinking that is what you are supposed to do. Plus, I was seeing other Brands that I look up to and look at for guidance adding products and expanding their line. But there was a catch, which I will get to later.

Throughout the fall of 2022 I attended many markets where I had so many bags of varying sizes, options and uses. It was overwhelming for all my customers and for us selling the product. I had a lot of success but things seem segmented and products were too similar without distinguishing features. It was just overwhelming and messy. A thought had started to percolate in mind. I need to simplify.

While brainstorming and thinking about that word, simplify, I struggled to find clarity. It wasn't until I sat down and took some objective observations that I started to see a path forward. Here are some of my observations; I was a very new brand. I need to form an identity. I need a clear vision. I need to establish my style, colors, and flair. I need to manage costs, while still offering options for all customers. Sometimes it's hard to see the truth and admit to yourself that you need to pivot. I learned many mindsets in my 7 years working for Whole Foods as Team Leader, such as, always be objective during evaluations, follow the numbers, and always be ready to pivot.

With these new observations, we started to make some decisions. One of the big ones was, product line. To decide that we focused on sales metrics and what activities we want to support. The core word was and is, adventure. We bore it down to biking, hiking, travel, and day to day adventure. We chose bags that support those like, handlebar bag, feedbag, and adventure EDC pack. We also will be running roll top backpack pre-orders. Not saying we will not expand but I want to take time to thoughtfully improve these bags until they are their very best. I would rather sell a few items at the best quality, instead of lots of items at a mediocre quality.

Some of our fears around this are big. Like losing sales due to lack of product. Losing partnerships due to product line changing. Shrinking our market scale. The list goes on. But when you trust your heart and the numbers, things will align.

This brings me back to the other brands that I follow… I have to remind myself that I am new. I have been full time at this for 7 months. I need to stay in check and build slowly. All good things take time. That sounds cliche but is so true. I don’t know what I don’t know. I have learned so much in these first 7 months and will continue to learn at an aggressive pace.

The biggest thing I have learned is that quality of product wins. If you have a high quality product, customers see that value in their purchase. Reducing products from our line will allow me to focus on quality and improvements. I feel keeping my line bigger, reduces the time and headspace to produce the best quality product and keep the brand values in check. This will also allow me to do drop of products in batches to allow for faster fulfillment and availability for all customers. I will still offer custom bag builds for available products, but at a lead time.

Thank you for reading all the way through this. I appreciate your support in whatever you give it. I wrote this because I believe in trust through transparency. Please if you have any questions or concerns, email, DM, or comment. Please stay tuned for future happenings, like a half frame bag pre-order in the spring!!!

Bags By Alex Mission Statement

Bags By Alex designs and sells high quality bags for your adventure, however you adventure. We focus on high quality assembly practices, while using the highest quality materials. We are proud to be a locally made product that supports all who chose to be outside exploring their communities. We want all to push their boundaries for adventure.

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